In defence of bad writing?


Lewis Binford

Will at Nomadic Thoughts has an inter­est­ing post on Lewis Binford. One pas­sage which caught my eye is this one:

One thing about Lewis Binford’s writ­ing is that it is some­time (ok, often) hard to under­stand. He him­self has even admit­ted that he does this on pur­pose, because if he writes clearly and the reader imme­di­ately under­stands what is being argued, then there is a risk that it will be blindly accep­ted and per­petu­ated as received know­ledge. By bury­ing his mean­ing in com­plic­ated prose Binford forces the reader to con­sciously decon­struct his argu­ment by read­ing slowly and reread­ing even more slowly.

How many assump­tions in this piece of admir­ably clear writ­ing by Will, or in Binford’s own words in a quote picked up by K. Kris Hirst, should be chal­lenged are here?
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